Parole officer helps inmates prepare for their release from prison

Rodriguez speaks to inmates in classroom
By Moira Lynch, Manager, Probation and Parole District 4

PPO Vincent (Vince) Rodriguez currently delivers prerelease class at SBWCC, ISCI, SICI, ISCC, TVCRC and CAPP. I recently asked Vince what his favorite thing is about doing prerelease as he has been doing the class for a while and I wanted to know what kept him going back time and again.

Vince told me that he enjoys the dialogue and that the interaction and engagement is energizing. He appreciates that many of the folks who will be released to parole have had prior experiences on supervision – some good, some not so good. Often people have preconceived notions and judgement about what to expect based on those experiences. He has shown he has the potential to alter those preconceived thoughts and ideas through answering questions and his interaction with people during the class. Vince has a keen understanding that people leave prison with a desire to do things differently and have better relationships with their family and their parole officer.

I have received feedback from Deserae Deulus, Pre-release Instructor at SBWCC, who let me know the following: “I was overjoyed to have a Probation/Parole officer volunteer as one of my guest speakers! I have seen a positive impact in the face-to-face meetings between inmates and P/P, before they are released—for sure!!! I have seen a greater awareness about Supervision occur, after having Officer Rodriguez speak to my classes. Many students have told me they feel more willing to be open with their future supervising officer and feel a greater sense of hope, even if they feel that their previous experience with P/P was negative. Many students who took the class before I had a P/P officer as a guest speaker, have asked me why they did not get the privilege of having Officer Rodriguez present to their class. A majority of my students have commented that they wish they could have had an officer like Mr. Rodriguez, the first time they were under supervision. My observations about having P/P out, have included only positive effects.  I very much appreciate Mr. Rodriguez coming out to speak to my ladies in Pre-Release and look forward to a partnership that will break any stereotypes that the inmates may have about P/P”. 

Additionally, I received feedback from Jenifer Grout- Case Manager at MTC Idaho CAPP as follows: “his willingness to take his time to visit the facility every two months to address specific questions coming directly from inmates.  He is willing to answer basic questions to help the men who have not had successful probation in the past and for those that are new to probation.  He outlines the small details and addresses more complex questions, admitting with over thirty years of experience he still does not know it all.  The men respect him, and the office of Probation and Parole in turn, because he tells it like it is, admitting no one is perfect, but this candid information prepares them for what is ahead.  This preparation includes how to best work with their Officer, communicate, to follow directives, building credibility, and how to be successful long term.  He also will let attendees know when their questions are not appropriate for the forum and why he won’t answer them.  Accordingly, this interaction lowers the anxiety, not eliminating it, but they walk out believing their success lay in their hands”. Further, that the PPO takes the time to help the case managers at CAPP understand some of the aspects of Probation and Parole that they might not otherwise know without the collaboration he has with them.

I would like to thank PPO Rodriguez for doing everything he does to build relationships and partnerships with our peers in the prison and his many efforts to have a positive impact on those we will supervise on parole.

Story published: 05/07/2019
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